Whether you are taking your first tentative tacks, dreaming of adventures afloat or are looking to hone your high performance skills, you will find all the advice you need with the line-up of expert talks at this year’s RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, 24 – 25 February.
The first wave of guest speakers was revealed last month for the season-opening showcase at Farnborough International and, coupled with over 160 exhibitors from the biggest marine brands, whatever your level and wherever you are looking to take your water-based passions this year, you will find the guidance and support you need.
Check out some of this year’s show talks and highlights.
Fasten your lifejacket and get ready for an epic and entertaining tale of human resilience, courage and endurance from Neil Peters – alter ego Stick Daring – who dared to circumnavigate the unpredictable waters of Britain anti-clockwise aboard his £50 Laser dinghy. Through vivid narratives, captivating images and a love of the open sea, you can relive the journey and celebrate the spirit of adventure that lies beyond the horizon.
Show regular and dinghy cruising royalty Roger Barnes will be sharing his tales of cruising the coast in a small boat, while if watersports are your thing then RYA Instructor Trainer and Pathway Coach James Hardy will be exploring winging, from foil tuning tips to nailing those manoeuvres. He is joined by wing instructor Mia Adcock and teenage UK Wingfoil Slalom National Champion Hugo Dobrijevic.
Windsurfing legend Peter Hart will also be on hand once again with his masterclass and will clear up any confusion around kit selections.
With two of the sport’s biggest global events – the Paris Olympic Games and the America’s Cup – just around the corner, let 2024 be the year that inspires you in your own boating journey.
Fancy a future in foiling? World class coach Penny Clark (Saturday only) and Hattie Rogers, James Crossley and Noah Fitzgerald of Athena Pathway will be shining a spotlight on their mission to build a long-term, equitable pathway in high performance foiling sailing.
Led by double Olympic gold medallist Hannah Mills OBE, the British team is building towards the Youth and inaugural Women’s America’s Cup in Barcelona.
RYA Performance Director Mark Robinson MBE and 49er crew Fynn Sterritt (Saturday only), who is set to make his Olympic debut on the waters of Marseille this summer, will be talking Games preparations with show host and Tokyo gold medallist Eilidh McIntyre MBE. They will also be dissecting what it takes to make it as a top level crew with members of the British Sailing Squad’s Crew4Gold Talent ID scheme, launched last year to fast-track young female athletes into the fast-paced world of 49erFX crewing.
Whatever your means of getting afloat, experts will be on hand with all the advice and practical tips you need to help you improve.
RS Feva and 420 coach Jake Elsbury along with Optimist coach Josh Atherton will head up a session for youth and junior dinghy racers on preparing for the season ahead, while British Sailing Team physio ‘H’ Draper will share tips to get you fit, whatever your goals, and help prevent injury this season.
SUP rider Holly Bassett will offer expert advice for paddleboarders of all abilities including essential kit and techniques for paddling in all conditions and locations.
RYA Regional Managers and Regional Performance Managers will also be on hand throughout the weekend ready to discuss any aspects of club or race development, and the RYA will also be recognising the outstanding work of clubs in inspiring boaters across the UK through the RYA Club of the Year Award. Supported by Gallagher, the winner of each category and overall winner will be announced during the show on Saturday 24 February.
Kids 15 years and under go free with an accompanying adult, and there is so much to do around the show to entertain even the littlest of mariners throughout the weekend. Do not miss the ever-popular Treasure Hunt – collect your map as you enter the show, race against friends with the radio-controlled boats at the activity pool and have a go on the simulators and VR headsets. Come and experience life under water and challenge yourself to plant replica seagrass seeds against the clock – prizes to be won and a whole lot of fun, all found in the Interactive Zone!
Food and Drink
When you have brushed up on all the latest techniques and bagged your kit bargains, The Rockley Clubhouse will provide the ideal spot, in the middle of the hall, to catch up for a drink and swap stories with friends old and new. If you have worked up an appetite, you will find an array of food outlets at both ends of the hall.
RYA Director of Sport Development, Rob Clark said: “The show provides a wonderful opportunity to bring the industry together to share knowledge and inspire people of all ages and abilities to get out on the water, whether that be through dinghy cruising, racing, paddleboarding, windsurfing, winging or any of the other ways you can enjoy being afloat.
“Along with our fantastic exhibitors and event partners, we cannot wait to see you at the show and help inspire you for the season ahead.”
With even more in store at the 2024 RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show get your tickets now at dinghyshow.org.uk. Members can take advantage of a free two-day ticket worth £21.